Here are some of the articles we’ve been reading around this office this week.

Cold Email: One Of The Best Kept Secrets In Silicon Valley (Thanks to Brian Zimmer for recommending this article) – “Cold email is one of the most effective strategies in obtaining early traction for your product. Many founders do it, but not many founders do it well. Cold email obviously won’t scale, but it can be extremely effective in developing that early momentum and cultivating early evangelists for your product.”

The Keys To Scaling Yourself As A Technology Leader (Thanks to Jarrod Wubbels for recommending this article) – “At the heart of this problem is a widespread misconception of what it means to be a company leader. If you’re a founder, you’re probably laser-focused on building a great product. But earlier than you might imagine, you need to shift your thinking away from building a great product to building the company that builds the great product. It’s a subtle but powerful distinction.”

How Startups Should Use Behavioral Economics (Thanks to Nathan Wilkinson for recommending this article) – “When teams spin discussion cycles arguing if they should include a default or not for fear of influencing the user too much, they are forgetting the counterfactual. By not including the default, they are still actively influencing users. This decision forces the user spend their time and effort figuring out the best choice and thus makes it much harder (maybe impossible) for them to do the behavior they hired the product to do.”

Upstart – The Long Game (Thanks to Matt Babcock for recommending this article) – “In retrospect, I’d made discomfort a problem to be fixed, not a stage through which to pass. I realized that my repetitive cycles had only one common denominator (me), and no matter what I fixed, I was eventually unhappy again. I was “passion hunting.” I’d imagined a career with no difficulties and a workplace of unending joy, and when reality conflicted with my fantasy, I’d bolt!”

How Apple Is Giving Design A Bad Name – “Design is a way of thinking, of determining people’s true, underlying needs, and then delivering products and services that help them. Design combines an understanding of people, technology, society, and business. The production of beautiful objects is only one small component of modern design: Designers today work on such problems as the design of cities, of transportation systems, of health care. Apple is reinforcing the old, discredited idea that the designer’s sole job is to make things beautiful, even at the expense of providing the right functions, aiding understandability, and ensuring ease of use.”

Canary In The Code Mine (Thanks to Jarrod Wubbels for recommending this article) – “As America switches from an industrial economy to a digital one, its bluest collar workers are facing the toughest challenge of their lives. Can miners really learn how to code?”

Speed Up Your Development Process By Coding With Empathy – “As an industry, we’ve defined titled roles for those who innovate and develop interfaces and empathetic experiences for our end users. However, until those roles are defined for software development, it’s on us to foster empathy for one another in the code we share on our screens. Because, after all, user interfaces aren’t the only interfaces that should be frictionless, and our end users aren’t the only people affected by our code that deserve our empathy.”

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